I love making and eating traditionally fermented foods.
This is my take on why I think it’s worth including these foods in an everyday diet. And how to do this as easily and inexpensively as possible.
We’re lucky in the Waikato. There are some great local producers of these foods.
I have a broad, inclusive view of food activism. In my definition, food activism is about making empowered choices around food, in the widest sense.
Food activism isn’t one single thing. It can be about campaigning for animal welfare, or supporting businesses in the local food economy. Or growing some of your own food.
Last weekend at the farmers’ market, Richard Cato handed me a couple of big, pale green and white, cylinder-shaped wong bok cabbages.
“What are your favourite recipes for these?” he asked.
This kind of Asian cabbage makes great salads. And kimchi. It’s also good in stir-fries and soups.
When I was a kid in Papua New Guinea, I yearned for peaches.
In the tropics, fresh peaches were magical and unattainable.
This year my dreams have come true. My Hamilton backyard peach tree has been having a crazy, bumper crop.
The loquat tree on our driveway has been laden with fruit this year.
I’ve been loving the golden egg-shaped fruit. Loquats have a sour-sweet, aromatic and slightly astringent flavour that I especially enjoy.
Loquats are distantly related to quinces and apples. They’re easy to grow in the Waikato.
This winter I’ve been dreaming of elderflower champagne. It’s fun, and fizzy, and it reminds me of summer. It’s one of my favourite things.
Elderflowers and elderberries are great for making interesting and delicious beverages that sit at the intersection between drinks and European herbalism.
Beetroot is in season pretty much all year round in the Waikato. I love the amazing purple colour of beets, which some people unkindly call “lurid”. I love that beets can be used both cooked and raw.
And it’s such a thrifty plant. You can make two different vegetable courses out of one bunch of beets.
But, beetroot isn’t “fast food”.
You have to think ahead, to get the best out of beets.
As regular readers will know, I love strange and unusual fruit. This week I’m in love with casimiroas. Casimiroa edulis, also known as white sapote, is oval and green, about the size and shape of an avocado. It doesn’t look anything special – but the flavour is amazing.
Tomatillos are very popular in Mexican cuisine, but they’re not common in New Zealand. So I was happy to find Harvey Till of Vegetills selling tomatillos on Sunday at the farmers’ market.
This post is about organics and the local food economy.
It’s a timely topic because the Organic Products Bill is currently going through Parliament. Submissions are open until 28 May.
If you care about organics and food quality, I suggest you send in a submission.
It’s a great time of year for avocados. Some of my friends are feasting on boxes of avocados from the Bay of Plenty. Others have trees laden with big green fruit.
Avocados thrive in many parts of the Waikato.
This is the story behind my new book, Meet your greens: Enliven your salads with herbal energetics. It’s about how to make amazing salads, but it’s also about a lot more than that.
Meet Your Greens comes out of my lifelong interest in the different flavours of salad greens.
This is a post about where to buy local food in the Waikato during the national Covid Level 4 lockdown. The farmers’ markets have been closed.
I’m keen to ensure people who want to support the local food economy can do this. So the producers can sell their produce. And so we can eat fresh local food.
When times are stressful, that’s exactly when we need to be eating well. Everyone will have different ideas of what comfort food means.
Whatever this is, I hope you’re able to eat some of the food that brings you home to yourself and helps you feel grounded.
Here are my five of my top comfort foods.
I think eggplants are the most elegant of all vegetables.
These beautiful shiny purple vegetables/fruit, which are also often called aubergines, star in some of my favourite recipes.